It is at times like this that living 1000 miles away is very difficult. I have every reason to believe that things will go well, yet this is serious surgery. My mom took him to the doctor because he kept having some pain in his chest. After getting an echocardiogram, the cardiologist prescribed a heart catheter to get a first hand look for any blockages. That was done yesterday, and indeed, a major blockage was found. So, instead of going home last night, today dad is undergoing bypass surgery.
As hard as this is to deal with emotionally, I am taking great solace in the fact that I am glad we are dealing with surgery rather than the first symptom being a massive heart attack. The fact that he has never had a heart attack makes his prognosis for recovery all the better. I considered flying there, but at this point, I cannot do much to help. It is probably better if I wait a bit until he is home and on the way to recovery to make the trip.
So, on this day when I look out to see blue skies and snowcapped mountains, I await the call that everything went well.
UPDATE: It is 10:39 AM in Houston, and my sister just called to say they are beginning the bypass phase of the surgery, after obtaining the blood vessels needed for the bypass, from his leg. They called from the operating room, and said he is doing well.
UPDATE: It is about a quarter-to-one PM CDT, and while the medical team was working on Dad, they found other blockages, so they ended up doing a triple-bypass. Far better to do it now than having to go back in again later. They also did have to go ahead and use the profusion pump. It is another estimated two hours before this is finished.
UPDATE: The news is good! My father is out of surgery, and the report is that he came through it like the champion he is! They finished up with the surgery at about 2:00 PM CDT, and they hope that he will be able to sit in a chair for a little bit tonight. By Sunday, he will likely be out of the ICU and into his room at the hospital. This is the report we wanted, and I am very proud of my dad's bravery and willingness to get this over and done with. Now, the healing & recovery begins!